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Safeguarding Cell Identities: Mechanisms Counteracting Cell Fate Reprogramming

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 REPROWORM project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the REPROWORM project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "REPROWORM" about.

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Project "REPROWORM" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: BERLIN
postcode: 13125

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Germany [DE]
 Project website
 Total cost 1˙457˙938 €
 EC max contribution 1˙457˙938 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2014-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-03-01   to  2021-02-28


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Regenerating tissues by reprogramming cells has the potential to become a therapeutic approach for replacing lost tissues in patients suffering from injury or degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Muscular Dystrophy. Strategies to generate required tissues using embryonic stem cells or induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are associated with either ethical or medical safety issues. An alternative strategy is to directly reprogram cells to the required tissue type by forced expression of cell fate-inducing transcription factors (TFs). Direct reprogramming (DR) has the potential to circumvent unsafe proliferative pluripotent cell stages and it allows in vivo procedures. However to date, DR is successful in only a few cell types and it is not well understood why most cells are refractory to DR. Recently, we provided evidence that inhibitory mechanisms play an important role in restricting cell fate conversion. We identified factors inhibiting direct conversion of germ cells into specific neurons or muscle cells. Additionally, preliminary studies in our group revealed other factors that inhibit ectopic cell fate induction in somatic cells. The objective of this proposal is to further understand mechanisms that restrict DR. We aim to identify and characterize factors involved in safeguarding differentiated cells and thereby counteract induction of ectopic fates in different cells. We use C. elegans as an in vivo model and apply large-scale forward and reverse genetic screenings with high-throughput. Next generation sequencing, tissue-specific biochemistry (ChIP-seq, SILAC) and 4D imaging will be used to elucidate the molecular function of identified DR-regulating factors. Finally, we will test the ability to convert cells in aged animals and assess the effects of ageing on the ability to induce ectopic cell fates. Our research has the potential to facilitate the generation of specific tissues from different cellular contexts for future biomedical approaches.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Anna Reid, Baris Tursun
Transdifferentiation: do transition states lie on the path of development?
published pages: 18-23, ISSN: 2452-3100, DOI: 10.1016/j.coisb.2018.07.004
Current Opinion in Systems Biology 11 2020-01-29
2018 Ena Kolundzic, Andreas Ofenbauer, Selman I. Bulut, Bora Uyar, Gülkiz Baytek, Anne Sommermeier, Stefanie Seelk, Mei He, Antje Hirsekorn, Dubravka Vucicevic, Altuna Akalin, Sebastian Diecke, Scott A. Lacadie, Baris Tursun
FACT Sets a Barrier for Cell Fate Reprogramming in Caenorhabditis elegans and Human Cells
published pages: 611-626.e12, ISSN: 1534-5807, DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2018.07.006
Developmental Cell 46/5 2020-01-29
2019 Andreas Ofenbauer, Baris Tursun
Strategies for in vivo reprogramming
published pages: 9-15, ISSN: 0955-0674, DOI: 10.1016/
Current Opinion in Cell Biology 61 2020-01-29
2018 Mahmoud M. Ibrahim, Aslihan Karabacak, Alexander Glahs, Ena Kolundzic, Antje Hirsekorn, Alexa Carda, Baris Tursun, Robert P. Zinzen, Scott A. Lacadie, Uwe Ohler
Determinants of promoter and enhancer transcription directionality in metazoans
published pages: , ISSN: 2041-1723, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-06962-z
Nature Communications 9/1 2020-01-29
2019 Martina Hajduskova, Gülkiz Baytek, Ena Kolundzic, Alexander Gosdschan, Marlon Kazmierczak, Andreas Ofenbauer, Maria Lena Beato del Rosal, Sergej Herzog, Nida ul Fatima, Philipp Mertins, Stefanie Seelk-Müthel, Baris Tursun
MRG-1/MRG15 Is a Barrier for Germ Cell to Neuron Reprogramming in Caenorhabditis elegans
published pages: 121-139, ISSN: 0016-6731, DOI: 10.1534/genetics.118.301674
Genetics 211/1 2020-01-29
2016 Selma Waaijers, Javier Muñoz, Christian Berends, João J. Ramalho, Soenita S. Goerdayal, Teck Y. Low, Adja D. Zoumaro-Djayoon, Michael Hoffmann, Thijs Koorman, Roderick P. Tas, Martin Harterink, Stefanie Seelk, Jana Kerver, Casper C. Hoogenraad, Olaf Bossinger, Baris Tursun, Sander van den Heuvel, Albert J. R. Heck, Mike Boxem
A tissue-specific protein purification approach in Caenorhabditis elegans identifies novel interaction partners of DLG-1/Discs large
published pages: , ISSN: 1741-7007, DOI: 10.1186/s12915-016-0286-x
BMC Biology 14/1 2020-01-29
2016 Stefanie Seelk, Irene Adrian-Kalchhauser, Balázs Hargitai, Martina Hajduskova, Silvia Gutnik, Baris Tursun, Rafal Ciosk
Increasing Notch signaling antagonizes PRC2-mediated silencing to promote reprograming of germ cells into neurons
published pages: , ISSN: 2050-084X, DOI: 10.7554/eLife.15477
eLife 5 2020-01-29
2017 Ena Kolundzic, Stefanie Seelk, Baris Tursun
Application of RNAi and Heat-shock- induced Transcription Factor Expression to Reprogram Germ Cells to Neurons in C. elegans
published pages: e56889, ISSN: 1940-087X, DOI: 10.3791/56889
JoVE | Peer Reviewed Scientific Video Journal - Methods and Protocols in press 2020-01-29
2017 Thomas Wilhelm, Jonathan Byrne, Rebeca Medina, Ena Kolundžić, Johannes Geisinger, Martina Hajduskova, Baris Tursun, Holger Richly
Neuronal inhibition of the autophagy nucleation complex extends life span in post-reproductive C. elegans
published pages: 1561-1572, ISSN: 0890-9369, DOI: 10.1101/gad.301648.117
Genes & Development 31/15 2020-01-29

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